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FRIDAY FEATURE: Simon Grenehed of Blindside, Part 2
Here’s the second part of Whole Notes’ interview with Blindside guitarist Simon Grenehed:
Bonham: Do you recognize those young guys from 15 years ago that were on the scene, hitting it hard and playing the small venues? Are you guys the same or is there a different purpose behind what the band does now?
Grenehed: We were formed by those years. There’s something that happens when we get in a room together. That’s not going to change. But also, you become different individuals the older you get. The last couple of years playing outside of the States, we’ve been trying to figure out our own sound and style as well, which has just come from playing in different types of settings. We’re super excited about the live shows because of the new material. We just started playing a couple of those songs live and we’re really excited about how they’re coming out.
Bonham: As one of a few bands that went from the Christian independent rock scene and then found success in the general market, how comfortable have you been bouncing back and forth between the various venues in which you find yourself performing?
Grenehed: The whole Christian scene is something we were unaware of when we started the band. It was something we got to know when we came over to the States. That was never our main focus. We were just playing and didn’t have too many goals. When things happened in different directions, we just kind of flowed with it. But I do think that we don’t have any problem playing in front of whoever is in the room or whatever kind of crowd. We learned when we opened for a lot of bands that we’re out to conquer the audience. They don’t know who you are when you start out. But we do feel comfortable just being in all those places. For us, it can be something really powerful when you play in a Christian venue and everybody is focused on the same thing. But also, I think you can get into that same mode when you play anywhere else. We have a couple songs where for some reason they’re not about a band on a stage. It’s about everybody in the room. It connects to a feeling or a melody that people can meditate on in whatever form like want to and express it in their own way.
Bonham: Do you feel like bands such as yourself, P.O.D. and Switchfoot have more responsibility because of your ability to connect with a mainstream audience better than other Christian bands have been able to do?
Grenehed: No. (Laughs) We are who we are. As far as being in whatever venue in front of different people, if you stay true to that and your core and what the band is about, people feel it if it’s real. I think that’s what will show in the end. It’s not about what you say on stage. For us, it’s been going out with bands that don’t necessarily have the same faith as us. It’s so much about relationships. If you’re spreading the word in any way, it’s going to be through who you are off the stage as well.
Bonham: What’s going on in Stockholm these days within the church there and how have you guys plugged back into that community?
Grenehed: I don’t know man. It’s funny because every time we talk to people in the States they’re like, “Yeah, I heard about all the things going on in Sweden!” We’re like, “Where did you go?” Sweden is a very secularized country. I think it’s like four percent or less Christian. But there are some amazing movements going on. For us, it’s more staying within whatever church or community where we already are and really working there.
Bonham: What is the game plan for how you’re going to tackle this new project with touring and promotions, especially considering the new reality within the music industry where record sales are harder to come by?
Grenehed: That’s exactly why we didn’t rush it and go do things the old fashioned way. That’s why we did the web campaign and released the songs streaming one at a time. We just tried to figure out different ways we could do things in an innovative way. Now that the record is out, we’re going to focus on touring and getting the music out there. Of course we’re very excited about getting back to the States. We have a tour that’s staring in September and we’re playing Cornerstone Festival as well. We’re ready to get back on it. It’s always hard. It depends on the kind of feedback you get from the fans. We really understand that we have to start at zero and go from there. Everything isn’t planned out yet. We’re going to take the information we have so far and see what we should do next.
Bonham: You guys have been one of the better bands for embracing video. Will that continue with this record?
Grenehed: We definitely believe in having something visual out there. We’re going to try to focus on that and get some video material out so people can see what the old men look like nowadays (laughs).
Click here for Part 1 of this interview. Join us next week for Monday Music News plus an interview with Royal Tailor and a review of Peter Furler’s debut solo project.